This track has already claimed a couple of victims, it sure as heck is going to be one hell of a race come Sunday! Yesterday saw practice kicking off, and our man on the ground Laurence has snapped some photo's for us.
Racing on home turf and on a track he helped build, Cedric Gracia will be up there with favourites to win this weekend, but he doesn't seem to be taking any precautions and donning this big rig body suit to keep him safe!
The last gully into the field claimed plenty of riders today. With the track wet, muddy and with little sun light, it didn't take long for the big holes to get even bigger and to quickly turn into the danger hot spot of the track. We should see some interesting shapes down here come race pace!
Incoming! Training on the step down doesn’t go too well when one decides to opt out and one sends it. Close call with these two…could have turned nasty!
We caught up with Rachel Atherton whilst warming down after todays practice. She’s looking to enter this race with a level head and looks at every race as a totally different event. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/19_audio.mp3"]
Thursday morning here in Andorra and with today bringing the first day of practice, riders were excited to get some laps in on the hill. Local racers lining up at 8.30 at the start gate, keen to be first ones down this tidy looking track.
The Santa Cruz Syndicate all set up and in full swing here in Andorra. With those V10s looking as bling as ever it’s almost a shame it throw them down a hillside.
Grand stand at the bottom of the track in perfect viewing and in perfect tanning spot. Expect a full house on race day!
Peeking through the trees to catch all the shapes. Another rider that has already raced this track, Guillem Prats will be on the up hand come Sunday
Someone has thought this through…tactically placed tear offs on the side of the track for if it gets real muddy!
Audio with Gee Atherton as he prepares himself for a potential hat trick of World Cups. Pictured here riding with recently injured Marc Beaumont who is nursing a separated shoulder. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/14_audio.mp3"]
Joe Smith chats with us about his thoughts on the new track here at Vallnord. Looking pinned in practice, His pace is up there with the top guns. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/16_audio.mp3"]
Local spanish female rider Maria Sanchez Veliz looking comfortable during this mornings practice. Some riders have had the sneaky opportunity to ride this track prior to the WC, look out for some locals this weekend.
Audio with Steve Peat as he discusses his thoughts on the track and his feeling after winning here at the last World Cup in 2009. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/9_audio.mp3"]
Specialized's star junior rider, Walker Shaw getting racey down the track. He will be looking to impress at this round and with hopes for a podium.
Current Junior leader and British National Champ, Tahnee Seagrave will be looking to hold on to the title this weekend, all she needs to do is hold on to her bike! Here she chats about her experience, she's a little dazed after a crash at the bottom section. [audio url="http://cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/12_audio.mp3"]
"Pinned through the woods" pretty much sums up this track with about 95% of it in the trees. Harsh sunlight making visibility tricky and patchy in places but rather it be dry than wet on at this one!
The track dried up a treat towards the afternoon and even started to become dusty in places. Won’t be long until the track is bone dry, that’s if the rain stays away!
Aaron Gwin looking cruisey today in practice on his new XLong Demo. Opting to go slightly longer in chain stay length, 14mm to be precise, it brings his rear travel in at 215mm.
Busted! Turned out the Marae boys didn't quite do it right. The local police were not too keen on their approach to mtb racing and didn't find the whole privateer lifestyle very Andorran. Will be interesting to see if they are still camping here tomorrow!